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Hog Feeder Talks to Itself
A new hog feeder that "talks to itself" may revolutionize the way you feed hogs because of the way it maintains consistent water-to-feed ratios and eliminates waste.
The Rapp-O-Matic feeder, invented by Gary Rapp, Greenview, Ill., looks like an ordinary stainless steel trough feeder. But there's an electronic transducer located under the trough that makes a constant, high-pitched ringing sound. When the bottom of the trough is covered with feed, no sound can be heard.
But once 95% or more of the feed has been eaten out of the trough, a second transducer at the upper end of the feeder hears the high-pitched sound. It then activates a motor inside the feeder which drops a small amount of feed into the trough and opens a water line that wets the feed.
Once the sound has again been muffled, the machine shuts off.
You can precisely regulate the amount of mixed-in water, which is added to the feed every 4 in. along the trough. You can adjust the volume of the tone to limit how much feed drops into the trough, which Rapp says virtually eliminates waste. The machine has a counter which lets the operator know approximately how much feed has been fed.
The new hog feeder, which is already on the market from ILECO in Fairfield, Iowa, has a built-in two-second delay mechanism so high hog squeals or other sounds won't activate it. The biggest advantage of the feeder is the consistent water-to-feed ratio, which a company representative says improves feed efficiency ratios by as much as half versus dryfeeding. Early test results have shown a gain ratio of 2.33 lbs. of feed per pound of gain.
Another company, Marting Mfg. Inc., Britt, Iowa, has also been licensed to manufacture the feeder but says it plans to wait at least a year before filling orders. "We built 12 units and put them all out on test. We want to be certain the electronic components stand up under corrosive conditions," Ron Riser told FARM SHOW.
ILECO in Fairfield, Iowa, says the feeder has already been through 2 years of testing with no problems. It sells a 48-in. long model for $2,140.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, ILECO, 601 South 23rd St., Fairfield, Iowa 52556 (ph 515 472-2153), or contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Marting Mfg. Inc. Britt, Iowa 50423 (ph toll-free 800 247-1868 or, in Iowa, 800 392-5632).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #6